By World BEYOND War, November 16, 2023
On Thursday morning, November 16, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly, National Revenue Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau and Justice Minister Arif Virani were served a notice of intention to seek prosecution for complicity in war crimes in regard to the imminent and ongoing commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The announcement was made live at public protests outside Justice Minister MP Virani’s office while 150 constituents delivered the notice of intention to prosecute Canadian officials for their role in aiding and abetting Israel’s perpetration of war crimes.
Simultaneously in Ottawa a crowd gathered at the Prime Minister’s Office for a rally and die-in. The action broke the news that a legal working group convened by the International Centre for Justice for Palestinians is investigating Canada’s complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel.
The research and findings will be forwarded to the UN’s Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Occupied Palestine in an effort to seek warrants from the ICC for the arrest of Canadian officials for aiding and abetting war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians is an independent organisation of lawyers, politicians and academics who support the rights of Palestinians and aim to protect their rights through the law. Their Legal Working Group for Canadian Accountability (ICJP LWGCA) issued the notice to leading members of the Liberal government, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Minister of Foreign Affairs Mélanie Joly, Minister of National Revenue Marie-Claude Bibeau, and Minister of Justice (Attorney General) Arif Virani. It included a stark warning that Canadian government officials could be individually liable and face before the International Criminal Court if there is evidence they have aided and abetted Israeli war crimes and crimes against humanity (a violation of Article 25(3)(c) and (d) of the Rome Statute).
The initiative has been supported by numerous leading domestic and international organizations dedicated to human rights, international law, peace and foreign policy, including Al-Haq, the Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Palestinian and Jewish Unity, Independent Jewish Voices (Canada), World Beyond War, Just Peace Advocates, and the Canadian Foreign Policy Institute.
To date over 11,000 people in Gaza have been killed by Israel’s military. Israel’s alleged international crimes include the withholding of humanitarian aide and safe passage, indiscriminately bombing civilians, and ethnic cleansing through a campaign of forced displacement of 1.5 million people. All of this has occurred while Israel has issued ominous statements indicative of a significant risk of genocide.
BREAKING: 📢📢📢 Attorney General MP @viraniarif, you’ve been served! A legal investigation has begun into your complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by Israel. We’re pursuing justice in court, and on the streets! #CeasefireNOW #CanadaStopArmingIsrael pic.twitter.com/QY2WJLcfSD
— Toronto (GTA) World Beyond War (@TorontoWBW) November 16, 2023
Despite this, the Canadian government has continued to pledge its steadfast support for Israel. It has also refused to halt arms exports, refused to take action to prevent the illegal recruitment of Canadian volunteers to assist Israel’s military, and refused to stop millions of dollars from being unlawfully sent by some Canadian organizations with charitable status to benefit Israel’s military.
ICJP LWGCA calls on the Government of Canada to end its complicity in war crimes by calling for a ceasefire, canceling all arms exports permits to Israel, prosecute those recruiting Canadian volunteers for Israel’s armed forces, and prevent Canadian charities from using donations to benefit Israel’s armed forces. ICJP LWGCA continues to gather evidence in relation to the conduct of Canadian officials and intends to pursue all appropriate courses of action to ensure that those responsible for aiding and abetting war crimes are held accountable before the International Criminal Court and in other appropriate legal forums.